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Why do most accidents occur on short trips?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by mogley, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. So i read the Hurt Report and it states that most accidents occur on short trips/errands and was wondering what might contribute to this?

    I ask because i'm deciding whether i should get a pair of A* Fastlane shoes. They look awesome and are something i'd rather be wearing for a quick jaunt to the shops vs my full boots. But the protection on these guys is much less than the full boots which i find nost people justify by saying its just for short commutes etc.

    But if i'm more likely to have an accident on said short commute then it seems counter intuitive to wear less protection.

    To be honest, I would have thought that lower speeds, shorter time of travel and familiaroty with roads would all make it safer than a half day sprint around twisty roads.
    Am i missing something??
  2. Yes - complacency. Wear the full boot, they usually are not that uncomfortable. Mine are great.
  3. How often do you take short trips, compared with long trips?
    The answer lies therein...
    • Like Like x 2
  4. I read that most accidents occur with 5 kilometres of home...so I moved!
    • Like Like x 16
  5. Spruce and NK have the basis of it. Sort trips are more often and familiarity breeds contempt on local roads. Riders are often not in the riding mindset if they are going to the local shop to get bread and milk as distinct from going out specifically to ride the twisty roads.
  6. Risk vs reward: if you're happy to trade off more risk of injury in the event of a crash for more comfort, well, that's up to you.

    As long as you make an informed decision about the risks, I don't think anyone should have a problem with your decision.

    Of course, you could always ride with due diligence & avoid crashing, that hurts a lot less, irrespective of what you wear.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Well said that man...

    (I still don't get though, why some people don't get into "bike mode" whenever the helmet goes on, regardless of where they're going or what they're wearing...)
  8. Apart from the fact that short trips are more common, increasing exposure, they will also tend to take place on roads infested with driveways, junctions, parking spaces etc. which are all fruitful sources of risk. Open country roads, freeways and good quality highways are relatively safe even though speeds may be higher and distances bigger.
  9. Carrying a weeks worth of groceries on your bike doesn't help your safety either.
  10. Told the missus that it would be safer for me to stay away for days at a time, riding. She mounted a pretty convincing argument to the contrary.
  11. Two stupid accidents I had that were my fault occurred close to work. One going to and one from. I believe the fact I hadn't gotten into the mindset yet on one and the other the fact I'd relaxed too early.
  12. Had milk and juice hanging off the bars (the boot in the Across was full)...needless to say, when leaning into the corner, the bags sc**** on the floor and make a hole...had to double back to get another bottle of milk after it spilled all over the road...at least the juice was good!

    Squidding to the shops isn't as dangerous as you might think. As long as you still have the same mindset as you would riding longer distances (twisties or longer commute), you should be able to avoid accidents.
  13. It did mine :)
  14. Carrying bubble wrap and cushions?
  15. Yeh a jumbo pack of toilet rolls would make for a soft landing.
  16. I think many accidents happen near home because of complacency as previously mentioned. Even if you've been on a long ride - you get close to home and it's easy to mentally turn off - "the ride is over - just getting home now" kind of thing.

    Equally if you're going OUT on a ride, easy to think "the ride's not started yet - just getting to the meet up point"

    So similarly on short trips to the shops, easy to slip into mindset of 'it's not really a bike ride'.

    Or something.
  17. You walk at 5kmp/h
    You ride at 60.
    Takes time for the brain to catch up to that, and as it's only a quick run to the shops my brain is more focused on the item or returning to what I was leaving than on what I am doing.
  18. this.
    + everyone else on the road arriving home around you is doing the same.
  19. Another, probably minor, factor is the cold tyres issue. Also, the shorter trips might be more likely in adverse weather conditions? Possibly might be more likely to have had a drink or two prior to a short trip? eg returning from the local?
  20. Would it be a factor that most of the actual mileage is done on short trips? Obviously not going to be true for many but there would be plenty who only ride to commute so the only time they could have an accident on is a short ride.

    Then another follow on could be that riders who only commute don't have the wealth of experience that gets built from long rides. not saying commuters are bad riders but could be missing out on additional exposure to different skills